New Opensource Drupal-based Software Runs UC IMC Website

New Opensource Drupal-based Software Runs UC IMC Website Welcome to the new UC IMC Drupal-powered website! Working with Drupal permits the website to be more easily maintained and updated than our previous open-source site software allowed. Among its features are a new, more user-friendly interface. Sign up for an account through the "User login" form near the top of the right column. This allows users to easily edit and update stories, as well as preventing anyone else from falsely posting under your user name. Signing in as a registered user is also the only way that users can avoid being tagged as an "anonymous user". While Indymedia always makes provisions for those with legitimate reasons to anonymously post news and comments, this capability has frequently been abused by trolls and those who have assumed the identities of others for no good reason. With the new software, unless a user logs in, the default mode tags all posts as "anonymous user" so that readers can more easily evaluate stories for veracity and can easily distinguish between those willing to openly claim their work -- and those who may just be trolling the site. Another feature of the new site implements the use of “captchas” to verify that a human being is actually posting, instead of the evil adbots that have plagued the website over the last year. Some features of the new site will be modified as we learn more about how to best implement various features to better serves users and the community. Please address suggestions and comments on the new site to imc-web (at) ucimc.org. Archives of the old, Dada-based UC IMC website will be available. However, for the time being, these archives of the old website may only be intermittently available due to technical reasons.

What is "captchas"? Are you

What is "captchas"? Are you sure that these "captchas" can "validate" anything?

Captchas validate that a

Captchas validate that a human being actually posted the comment. This prevents spambots from flooding the site with useless advertising crap.

I prefer the contrast and

I prefer the contrast and readability of the old site (now archived). The olive drab headlines and washed-out blues and grays of the new site make it harder to read. Are there any plans to tweak this?

If there's a general sense

If there's a general sense that legibility has badly suffered, then, sure, I'll tweak the stylesheet. But I thought the dada site was too high contrast, and that got hard on the eyes after a while. Indymedia sites tend to be eye-screamers, with every spare inch packed to the gills, and I thought I would try something a little calmer. @%<

I like the calmer color

I like the calmer color scheme better myself. In general, I think the new design is much easier to look at. That purple tone on the picture of the IMC building, though ... may I suggest a muted sepia?

going for contrast

Well, I was going for a splash of contrasting color. I'll doctor it up. This drupal theme was actually originally a sort of electric blue, which didn't seem right for us, so I recolored it. The theme also provided the ability for a left and right sidebar, but that left a very narrow center column, and the same general "help, I'm trapped in a pinball machine" look we had before. By the way, notice the spiffy indentation on comment threading. Ooh! Ahh! @%<

Needs More People

The thing I'd like to add to the website are some people. The panoramic banner pic at the courthouse at the top of the old site really did that for me. Is there a way to put it behind what we have now? I think that would help, but I can also see other ways to do this. After all, UC IMC's building is nifty and I like the way it looks up there, but it's the people and the community who make the IMC work.

Makes sense

Let me see what I can come up with. @%<

Access to the old site

I think that I've restored access to stories on the old site, so that (most) old links should now work right again. @%<

Very nice!

The old software was quite buggy. I do think that the site now does look a little vanilla, and hope that a bit of contrast can be introduced, without adding too much clutter to the site. Glancing around at other IMC websites, I think my favorite might be austin's imc website ( http://austin.indymedia.org/ ), which looks nice and presents information in a clear and engaging way. Perhaps it can serve as an inspration in some ways. Cheers to the new site!

Hmmm...Maybe It's the Dancing Doll?

I looked at Austin and it seems rather busy to me. Maybe it's the weird little birthday doll (pinata?) animation? Part of the issue is the shift to one column on the right. The main page looks a little weird right now, but that is largely because we haven't posted enough Features to lead the eye down past all the Indymedia network list. The comments in this post are starting to do that now. I was thrown a little at first by this, too. After all, I've been looking at two columns around a skinny middle for the last six years. But I am starting to like this layout more and more. Thus, I like the new site design, for something that was basically thrown together on a whim, like all good Indymedia projects. :) The Web group has been basically the web editors and we're all online, except for meetings over beers. But I'm sure that if people want to get together and discuss adjusting various design aspects, then someone should call for a meeting and suggest some times. The same goes for other aspects of the site, as the goal is to both have a Indymedia Drupal Starter Set available very soon and then continue working on various development issues in concert with other Indymedia users.

the network list

Right now, the network list is (if it's working as advertised) pulled daily from indymedia.org in this very long format. I'm going to try at some point to see if I can automatically reformat it as a footer, like at http://la.indymedia.org/, just to keep the pages from looking so stretched out. But that's not a super high priority. @%<

Media options for anonymous posters?

I posted this under another story, but it might be more fitting here- I really think that people should be able to post images, audio, video anonymously (in addition to text), and that the site shouldn't depend on users identifying themselves to be granted privileges. Various governments have seized computers and files from IMCs around the world. I think a who's who list could discourage contributors from submitting in certain circumstances. In addition, especially in the local context, users have and could in the future face retaliation for breaking a story. Is there a happy medium that can be found here?

Don't Let Your Paranoia Eat Your Dogma

As I indicated in my other reply, I do think it is possible to post images anonymously, but I currently can't tell you how. Right now, I can't figure out how to do it as a logged in user or as an editor either, so I don't think anyone is being privileged here over anyone else. Besides, it's a start-up. A little bit of patience might be in order. The world won't end before we get instructions for this figured out and posted. I actually think I've found where to do that, but since I don't want to break anything else or create a security issue by fiddling with things, I will defer to someone else fixing things. BTW, I put an email into the Tech group, so let's see what develops.

Use the Publish! Menu

FWIW, if you use the Publish! link on the toolbar at the top of the page, you get various options to publish. I'm not quite sure how to do it, but this should allow you to publish audio, video, and images here, then link to them. I'm a klutz at coding, even HTML, so maybe a very simple FAQ would be nice to explain this all. But the functionality is there, anonymous or not.

RSS feed needs

Can you add the full text of the articles to the RSS feed please? thanks p.s. i thought captchas had been pretty much proven to be relatively ineffective in combatting spam

Must Be an Internet Rumor

Someone geekier than I will have to help with the RSS feed issue. As for the captchas, I would calculate that in the two weeks since the site went live, they have saved the editors from manually deleting about 14,000 spammed ads. Works for me.

thanks for adding the full

thanks for adding the full text to the RSS!

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